The deadline for SIM card registration in the Philippines has passed, and the final tally of subscribers for the three major telcos has been released. The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) mandated that all mobile phone users register their sim cards with their respective service providers by July 25, 2023, or face disconnection.
According to the NTC, the total number of registered sim cards as of July 30, 2023 (the final day after the 5-day registration grace period), was 113,969,014, out of a total of 168,016,400 SIM cards in circulation. This means that 67.83% of the SIM cards in the country were registered, and the rest were deactivated.
The breakdown of registered subscribers per telco is as follows:
- Smart Communications registered 52,500,870 of its total 66,304761 subscribers or 79.18% of its total subscriber base. This means 13,803,891 Smart SIMs were deactivated after the deadline.
- Globe Telecom registered 53,727,298 of its total 86,746,672 subscribers or 61.94% of its total subscriber base. Here, Globe lost 33,019,374 SIMs to deactivation.
- DITO Telecommunity registered 7,740,346 of its total 14,964,967 subscribers or 51.72% of its total subscriber base. DITO lost 7,224,621 SIMs to deactivation.
The SIM registration policy was implemented to prevent the misuse of mobile phones for illegal activities such as fraud, identity theft, cybercrime, and terrorism. While the measure’s effectiveness against text scams is still in question, the NTC did report that text scam complaints declined by 93.3% in March 2023.
For their part, the NTC will continue to monitor the compliance of the telcos with the SIM registration policy and other relevant rules and regulations. The agency also urged the public to cooperate with the policy and report any problems or concerns to their service providers or the DICT’s 24/7 complaint center by dialing 1326.